Recyclopedia: Can I recycle it?

COVID-19 Recycling & Trash Updates

Trash & Recycling are Essential

While we are all adjusting to the “new normal”, many folks are wondering if anything has changed with recycling. Good news.  Collection of trash and recycling is considered an ”essential service” under Governor Baker’s executive order, meaning most trash and recycling services will continue to operate normally, with a few exceptions:

  • If you take your trash and recyclables to your municipal transfer station it’s wise to check hours of operation as some communities are reducing them.
  • If you have curbside collection, we recommend checking your municipality’s website to confirm that no changes have been made to collection schedules.
  • And if you​ privately subscribe to trash and recycling services, contact your service provider to confirm schedules and services.

Reusable Bags

The Department of Public Health has issued an order prohibiting the use of reusable checkout bags at grocery stores and pharmacies until further notice, as a precautionary measure to protect against the spread of COVID-19.

Essential businesses continuing to operate during this time, including those subject to local bans on single use plastic bags, may choose to use recyclable paper bags, compostable plastic bags or single-use plastic bags.  They may not charge customers a fee for these bags.

Plastic bags and plastic wrap should not be included with household recycling. If you are able, please hang onto plastic bags and plastic wrap for future recycling at a drop-off location.

Bottle Deposit Update

In light of COVID-19, Massachusetts has temporarily suspended enforcement of the requirement for retailers to accept beverage containers that have a deposit. Click here​ for more info.

Some retailers may still choose to accept deposit containers, but if your local supermarket or grocery store is not, try contacting aredemption centeror hold onto your containers until they re-open for container redemption.

You can also recycle these containers through your municipal curbside or drop-off recycling program.


This page was last updated on 4/23/2020 |Learn more about Massachusetts’ public health response to COVID-19